Results of the "I Have a Dream"® Programme


Results in New Zealand

(Table above relates to inaugural NZ graduation class of 2012, compared to the students in the year-level above them from the same primary school)
Since 2003 “I Have a Dream” has been using an independent research company (The Education Group) to prove that the US model can be applied in this country and achieve the same dramatic outcomes for our priority learners. We have extensive qualitative and quantitative reports for every year of the programme, but here is the latest selection:
  1. I Have A Dream: Turning Dreams Into Reality For Children Living In Poverty, Jan Hill and Kerry Mitchell, The Education Group, Auckland, New Zealand. (Paper presented at the AARE and NZARE Conference, ‘Speaking Back Through Research’, Brisbane 2014
  2. Case Study Report of the “I Have a Dream” Wesley Cohort for the “I Have a Dream” Charitable Trust November 2014, Researcher: Kerry Mitchell, The Education Group, Auckland, New Zealand.
  3. I Have a Dream: An Evaluation of the Outcomes for Students – 2012, Jan Hill, The Education Group, Auckland, New Zealand.
  4. Breaking The Cycle of Educational Underachievement, “I Have a Dream” Charitable Trust New Zealand. (An internal whitepaper produced to highlight the outcomes of our end of high school results for our 2003-2012 Wesley cohort)
  5. Social Return on Investment, Economic Impact of the “I Have a Dream” Programme in New Zealand.

Results from the USA

30 years of experience in the US of a world class education programme (, has seen over 200 programmes helping more than 15,000 children from disadvantaged communities achieve educational success.

Arete Corporation, a New York City-based consulting firm, prepared a summary of research on “I Have a Dream”® based on 10 local studies and evaluations. They found that, taken as a whole, this body of research shows that “I Have a Dream”® has a dramatic impact on helping children. Below are some of their conclusions.

Improved Grades and Test Scores

Three studies found significant improvements in grades and/or test scores among Dreamers. For example, after a New York Project developed individual tutoring plans for Dreamers, their math scores improved.

Better School Attendance

“I Have a Dream”® has had positive effects on students’ attendance records. For example, 80% of Portland Dreamers attended school at least 85% of the time, compared to 63-70% in control groups.

Higher Graduation Rates

Six studies measured high school graduation rates against either a control group or a baseline average for the district. In every case, Dreamer rates were significantly higher – more than double the average in two cases.

Resistance to Peer Groups and Peer Pressure

Three studies offered important perspectives on teens’ relationships with their peers. All concluded that Dreamers were better able to resist negative peer pressure, to support one another, and to serve as role models.

Less Involvement with Juvenile Justice

The Portland study found a dramatic drop in the number of times male Dreamers were referred to the juvenile justice system. Referrals per male Dreamers were only 57% as high as in control groups.

Higher Educational Aspirations

In virtually every Project, both quantitative and qualitative measures of Dreamers’ aspirations, hopes and goals show higher aspirations and more positive attitudes about school, life and the future.

Improved University Attendance Rates

Four studies examined the number of Dreamers who attended university or other postsecondary institutions and found exceptionally high rates of attendance in every case. For example, about three times as many students in the 1996 Chicago study attended
university, compared to those in comparison groups.

Class                                                          High School Graduation/GED Completion Rate   % of Graduates Going to University/VocationalTraining
Westbury, New York Class of 1999    93%                                                                                 96%
The Original P.S. 121 Dreamers          90%                                                                                 60%
East Palo Alto Class of 2000/2001     89%                                                                                 85%
Denver Class of 1995                             87%                                                                                 66%
Chicago Class of 1996                           75%                                                                                 85%
Chicago Classes of 1993/94                69%                                                                                 66%



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